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GU splashes the Money…

BDF XI Kabelo Seakanyeng(on white and green) set to join Gaborone United


Gaborone United Sporting Club’s financiers will leave no stone unturned in this transfer window in their quest to uplift the face of the team and preparations for total conquest next season.

Thus far The Reds as the team is prevalently known, is the busiest team in this transfer window with some interesting signings already concluded by the team, while others singings maybe concluded soon.

According to sources close to the club, the grand plan is to build a formidable side that will in the upcoming season give its rivals like Township Rollers and Mochudi Center Chiefs a stern competition in bid to win every cup on offer.

The team leadership helmed by Rapula Okailwe wants the moniker name of The Money Machine to be relevant and to bring back the league glory days. United, won the inaugural beMobile

Premeir League in 2009, and ever since then the rophy has eluded the club.  “Since we didn’t start well this season we are aiming for a respectable position by the end of the season and we will give stiff competition next season. Besides that we don’t want to participate in Confederations Cup but to Compete,” Okailwe told Weekendsport.

The Old Naledi side has made its intentions clear by overhauling the technical team a few weeks ago. Players have been assured that the new coach will arrive by Monday.

While the team senior officials are still cagey with the details as to who will head the technical team, information reaching Weekendsport shows a portrait of divisions within the team officials. It appears that some are of the view that George Mogopodi is a better man to lead the team while others believe the much touted European coach Martin Ignatius should take the reigns.

The coach is expected to bring along his assistant coach who will also double as a physical trainer. “We are looking for a coach who will help us to redeem ourselves,” the Chairman could only say, avoiding to dwell much on who will be appointed.

Sacked goalkeeper coach Thabo “Mahala” Motang is also expected to bounce back as senior officials are said to be his greatest admirers.

To show that indeed they walk the talk, in addition to the new technical staff, more players are expected to join the Money machine camp. The Serowe born duo Moathodi “Skhebo” Ralesota and Kabelo “Skhebo” Seakanyeng have finalised their deals and will don the reds and whites regalia of the team.

Sankoyo Bush Bucks winger Jackson “Jackie” Lesole is also set to finalise terms with the club as he is currently in Gaborone negotiating the deal, another signing expected is of Motlakase Power Dynamos duo of Botshelo “life” Lorato and Thato “Abidal” Kebue.  However, with the latter having agreed personal terms with the team it appears the move has more stumbling blocks and might not happen.

With the uncertainty of acquiring Kebue, the team has set its eyes at Jwaneng Galaxy for its starlet Gofaone Marumo and Miscellaneous defender Keolopile Molemi to fill the void left by Thabiso Khunwane who is linked with BDF XI. Okailwe said the main reason for these signings is “to encourage competition as players seem to be complacent as a result they want more than a player in each position.

The team reportedly paid P20 000 for Ralesota and they might also pay the same fee for Sankoyo’s Lesole. Kebue could also cost the team as there are those who believe the promising players cannot go without a cost. However despite releasing five players, it appears some might leave including Kgololo Kgogobi who is linked with Extension Gunners.

GU TO PULL A COUP IN JULY

The Nicholas Zarkhem financed side is expected to make big names signings in July. Some of the players expected is the on loan Rollers duo of Tapiwa “Navara” Gadibolae, and Lebogang “Tallie” Ditsile whose contracts elapse by the end of this season. Another acquisition anticipated to happen is that of Center Chiefs winger, Lemponye “FC” Tshireletso. By then the team is expected to be on the right shape and ready to prevail. The team will let any of their remaining players to leave, Rollers showed interest in the goalkeeper Goitseone “Chichima” Phoko as their number one goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe might leave for Slovakia in July.

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Sport

Rollers make digital strides

11th June 2021
rollers_0121

A recent study shows that Township Rollers is not only popular within the perimeters of Botswana, but has also made significant steps within the digital football platforms in Africa.

Out of the 70 African football clubs ranked on the African football digital benchmark, Township Rollers comes on the 35th position backed by a massive social media following. The club website records more than 399 000 followers and is seen as the most interactive in the local game.

This is consistent with the recent study conducted by FIFA- world football governing body- that Rollers is the only team locally that makes use of its digital platforms.

Notably, it comes out that the gap between Township Rollers and the rest of the 15 Premier League clubs is abysmal, this therefore works against creating a strong BPL brand value.

Rollers is the only club with more than 50 000 followers on Facebook, more than 20 000 followers on Twitter while its Instagram platform stands strong at 27 800 followers.

However, it is found out that much of the BPL brand value is killed by some social Facebook football fan accounts.  They have stood long and have thus attracted more followers than the official accounts. Pages like Killers Pass and Botswana Football have consequently seen more than 100 000 following. Both of the accounts give 24 hour on-going updates of football’s latest news, transfers, results, video and live updates.

FIFA has therefore come to a conclusion that the two social media pages have grown interactive since they incite followers to answer and present their impressions about local football.

It comes into the open that 70 percent of domestic premier league clubs do not have official websites. This according to FIFA, kills the brand and visibility of clubs hence failure to attract lucrative sponsors by the clubs. FIFA also found out that the remaining 30 percent of clubs with websites are lacklustre and found wanting when it comes to their online presence. But in this regard, Rollers is on pole position.

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GU finally snatches Ditsele

3rd June 2021
Lebogang Ditsele

Hard tackling midfielder, Lebogang Ditsele has completed a move from Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions, Jwaneng Galaxy, to Gaborone United in a reported lucrative two-year deal, WeekendSport can confirm.

The Reds have finally made their move for their long-time target and the enterprising midfielder is said to be happy to have completed the transfer after a heavy fall out with Galaxy management.

He wants to play football that pays, something which Galaxy cannot offer and the allure of GU was certainly too much for Ditsele to turn a blind eye.

The team as led and directed by construction magnate, Nicholas Zakhem- who is reported to have given ‘CCTV’ a mouth-watering P30 000 per month plus winning bonuses contract in demonstration of their seriousness to win silverware.

Sometime in March, the industrious player gave Galaxy an ultimatum-to either improve his contract benefits or let him go-after a decision was taken to offer the whole team pay cuts amid the devastating effects of the corona virus pandemic.

Galaxy had arrived at a conclusion of giving each player P 3000 until a time football returns to the field with moneyed sponsorships.

“We are proud to have signed him because he will add quality to our squad once football returns. Always a quality player and like him and he is now available, you don’t say there is no football, you tie him down before other clubs beat you to his signature,” said club Director, Nicholas Zakhem.

It is believed that Ditsele has always recognized GU as one of the country’s leading clubs, capable of competing for the grandest prizes. Ditsele was at Gilport Lions before he was snatched up by Galaxy and now GU.  His moves come as no surprise as his dream has always been to play for high paying clubs.

No doubt, Ditsele has enjoyed his years at Galaxy, where he is feted by the supporters, but the lad has always felt that the time is right to move on. Ditsele leaves having a year left on his contract.

It is impossible to dispute the value and service that he has given to the club, with the last season being his best, winning the premiership title.

Once Galaxy has sent him to overseas club at Highlands Park but returned home after a short stint.

However, the fan favourite, who has had an on and off relationship with the national team, The Zebras, was never going to be held by the terms of his contract.

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Sport

No injury problems for Amos

2nd June 2021
Nijel Amos

Despite encountering an injury scare ahead of the IAAF Diamond League circuit this week, Nijel Amos’ Olympic dream is still on track and he remains ever capable to stun the world by replicating his famous feat at the 2012 Olympic Games.

This was confirmed by his coaches and doctors after the Botswana star suffered a minor calf injury that forced him out of the weekend race. The multiple conqueror of 800m races is expected back on the track on June 9th to shake off this injury scare and face the possibilities of winning another Olympic medal. This likelihood only has one month to go!

Amos remains the only Motswana athlete to ever win a medal at the Olympic Games, a rare but magnificent accomplishment that still lingers in the memory of Botswana sport fraternity. At the time, he was only 18 years and strange enough, that silver medal felt like Gold for many.

His anticipated presence at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is on course to renew the long standing rivalry between him and the Kenyan 800m world record holder, David Rudisha. This is the same Kenyan competitor who won Gold when Botswana’s Amos came second in a race that would become the toast of the competitions at the London Olympics.

However, two years later, at 2014 Commonwealth Games, Amos dethroned Rudisha in another breath-taking race that confirmed and sparked the ongoing thrilling competitiveness — filled with pleasure, pain and sporting hatred- between the two.

When Amos was beaten in London, he never cared who won the race but was ecstatic to have finished at the podium, writing his name into Olympic Game folklore.

But in Glasgow, for Rudisha, defeat seemed not to have diminished his hopes. After the finish, when the lacerations were sharpest and the wound deepest, Rudisha was pictured hugging Nijel Amos, and congratulating him for a job well done.

Then, Amos was just 20 years, oozing with confidence. The shy looking Rudisha wrapped a Kenyan flag around his back and went on a lap of honour to celebrate his silver medal.

If there was disappointment Rudisha masked it with the skill of an actor. He smiled and waved as he received a standing ovation. “Amos is a tough competitor and he was very good,” Rudisha once admitted, stating matters of sporting facts that would follow between the two runners. Win. Lose. Win. Lose.

But then, there have been echoes of a swollen Muhammad Ali after his defeat to Joe Frazier, winking at the hundreds of fans who had converged at his hotel, determined to show light on his darkest day. The bruises on that day were to Rudisha’s record, not his face. Like Ali, he promised to be back.

But that night was about Amos. A callow 18-year-old who finished second to Rudisha at London 2012 sharpened his confidence, hardened by beating his idol twice on the Diamond League circuit, grew with each passing year.

However, both athletes began to suffer sporting injuries of their own, they lost the edge they were well-known for and it is why at the 2016 Olympic Games, the bookmakers were upset when they could not meet at the final. It was Amos who faltered in the heats and although Rudisha became the first Kenyan to retain an Olympic title, it was not as scintillating as it was in 2012.

Now with a month to go, Amos is living in prayer, hoping he stays free from injuries. He is looking forward to become the star again. He has won everything at the diamond league and broke every national record, but his eyes are still fixed on the ultimate prize- the Gold medal at the international stage, with or without David Rudisha.

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